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Bigger and Heavier Dinosaurs Should have Existed

Aug. 15, 2023

Dinosaurs were the dominant species on land during the Mesozoic era, with a wide variety of species and different body types. Years of popular science have given the public a basic idea of what a dinosaur was: big, far bigger than modern land animals. People have always imagined that in the ancient world, anything was possible, and that bigger and heavier dinosaurs 'should' have existed. However, new research could see these ancient creatures "shrink".

At the Field Museum in Chicago, USA, paleontologists have unveiled the largest land animal ever to have existed. The 100-million-year-old reconstructed skeleton of the dinosaur, known as Patagotitan mayorum, was too large to fit in any of the special galleries and was placed in the middle of the hall. The long neck all the way down to the long tail was about 120 feet (36.5 metres) long in total, and scientists had previously estimated that the animal weighed over 70 tonnes, but this figure has now been reduced.DinoWalk Science & Technology Inc can manufacture real life size fiberglass dinosaur replicate.

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Based on fossil estimates of Patagotitan mayorum from several different ages, paleontologist Alejandro Otero and colleagues have reduced the behemoth's weight to 57 tonnes in a new study. Although "tonnes" may not be intuitive to humans who weigh in kilograms, an 18 per cent reduction in body weight is indeed a significant change. One possible explanation is that the new study found that the vertebrae of the lizard-footed animal were filled with air sacs to keep them light, so that the method of estimating its weight had to be readjusted and the total weight calculated would have been smaller than before. And estimates of the dinosaur's record full length of nearly 36 metres may also be problematic, as there was no complete skeleton.

Incomplete dinosaur fossils, evolving technology and a paleontological focus on giant dinosaurs have all contributed to the ongoing search for the largest terrestrial animals. Despite the fact that many dinosaurs grew large (the famous Tyrannosaurus rex was 40 feet long and weighed 9 tons), the largest class of dinosaurs actually belonged to the lizard-footed group, which ate mainly plants. These four-legged herbivores are easily recognisable by their tiny heads, long necks, bulky bodies and gradually tapering tails. Dinosaurs like Brontosaurus and Leontosaurus have conveyed the standard image of these herbivores to museum-goers for the last century or so. However, even these huge animals were not the largest of all.


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